The Ottawa Senators traded Mika Zibanejad to the New York Rangers for Derick Brassard a couple weeks ago. Many Sens fans were quite upset by the fact that their teams new GM Pierre Dorion traded away future talent for a player who is turning 29 in September. So what is Dorion thinking with that trade?
Dorion is showing fans that the Senators are heading into the direction of being a team that is ready to win now. Dorion believes that this Ottawa Senators roster has the ability to be Stanley Cup Contenders, he says he wouldn’t have taken the General Manager job if he didn’t think Ottawa has the chance to the real deal.
They have improved their Centre’s by getting Brassard and that takes away a little more youth from the team and brings in a Veteran player who has made his appearance in the Stanley Cup Finals. Brassard is here for the same reason as Kelly, both of these players have experience playing in the Stanley Cup Finals, the biggest stage of hockey that every kid dreams of winning.
But why does Ottawa need to win now?
With much failure since 2007, the Sens have struggled to make it past the second round of the playoffs. The Senators have had good seasons where they were able to surprise critics and become the hottest team in hockey going into the playoffs, but they never seem to carry their season success into the playoffs. For example Andrew Hammond wasn’t the Hamburgler that we saw standing on his head to the playoffs vs Montreal. It’s about time the Sens step up to the plate and take a good hack at it because so far the Sens keep striking out. They should be a team that makes a second round appearance or better every season from now until the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The Sens have until 2019 to prove that this is a team that can win. Erik Karlsson’s contract expires in 2018-19 and so does Brassard’s and Methot’s. Anderson and Hammond have contracts that expire in two more seasons and Anderson is likely to retire after his contract but he might stay an extra year if the Sens show hope of being cup contenders in 2018-19. Karlsson and Brassard will most likely leave the team if Ottawa isn’t showing signs of going anywhere. If Karlsson decides to walk away in the summer of 2019, the Sens could possibly be looking at a rebuild depending on what young prospects Logan Brown, Matt O’Connor, Colin White, Thomas Chabot and Francis Perron bring to the table.
This team needs to start showing signs of being able to compete at an elite NHL level this season and much will be expected from them by their fans, coaches, and especially GM.